The purchase of a house is, for most people, one of the most important purchases of their life. It is a transaction that must not be taken lightly. No element is to be neglected or left to chance.
With the goal of making your purchase a winning transaction, the following four elements need to be considered:
Identify your needs
With the goal of finding a property that truly meets your needs, prepare a list of features, by order of importance, beginning with those that are “musts”. Then, draw up a second list of the features that you consider important. Lastly, a list of things that you would like, but that are not essential. For example, first identify the type of property that you are looking for (condo, two-storey house, bungalow, split-level, etc.), the areas of interest, the range of price that you are ready to pay, the required or desired amenities (parks, supermarkets, schools, daycares, etc.) or even the size of the building and lot. Establish clear criteria in order to not be distracted by fairly superficial elements, such as the decoration, which could make you lose sight of your basic needs.
Assess your borrowing capacity
Before starting to look for your dream home or property, it is a good idea to get your mortgage pre-approval from a financial institution. Doing so will enable you to know, in advance, the maximum mortgage for which you would qualify. Also, you will be able to establish a budget to determine the monthly payment that you would be comfortable with, taking into account your other financial obligations. In choosing your mortgage, you also need to consider the type of loan that you will be contracting, that is, whether it will be a conventional loan (with at least a 25% down payment) or a CMHC-insured loan (with less than a 25% down payment).
Seek professional assistance
The acquisition of your property is a major purchase, making it important to do everything possible to prevent problems or complications from arising down the road. This includes consulting professionals who are qualified to guide you through all the steps involved in purchasing a property. These specialists (real estate broker, building inspector, legal advisor, Québec notary or lawyer, etc.) will be able, in turn, to advise you, answer your questions and help you avoid errors that could transform your dream into a nightmare. To find a professional to help ensure that your real estate transaction is a successful one, consult the sections “Find a Broker
” and “Resources and Support
Estimate your related expenses
The purchase of a property is invariably accompanied by many expenses that you may not have foreseen at the outset. As expenses can be many and varied, we cannot list them all here, but you should budget at least a few thousand dollars to cover those related to the deposit you make with your offer to purchase, as well as notary fees, moving costs, the real property transfer tax (taxe de Bienvenue
in Québec), house insurance, reimbursements to the seller (municipal and school taxes), charges to reconnect telephone and Internet services, and so on. In other words, your mortgage payment will not be your one and only payment.